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5 Reasons For Publishing Your Academic Book as Open Access

Publishing your academic book as Open Access gives readers from around the world immediate access to your work. This level of accessibility within Open Access book publishing can be crucial if you’re an academic, allowing you to get your research to as wide an audience as possible. But what other reasons are there for publishing your academic book as Open Access?

In this article, we offer 5 reasons for publishing your academic book as Open Access.  

1. Increased visibility and impact  

The first and perhaps one of the most important reasons for publishing your academic book as Open Access is increased visibility and impact.

The visibility of a book is defined by the size of its audience, the extent of its reach, and any engagement the research generates. Visibility in Open Access book publishing represents how much interest a book is generating. Metrics such as downloads, citations, and online mentions are indicative of a book’s impact.  

Importantly, publishing your book as Open Access means your research is available to a wider and more diverse audience. 

Publishing your book as Open Access also leads to increased visibility by making your book easier to access and identify. OA books have ten times more downloads than non-OA books and more than double the number of citations. Additionally, OA books are published in free-to-access online libraries, assigned a DOI (Digital Object Identifier), and stored on databases such as Google Scholar and DOAB. This ensures that your research is disseminated, classified, and preserved for future generations.  

Open Access books also benefit from online marketing campaigns and content. At MDPI Books we invest resources to guarantee that promotional material is created for the author. For Reprints, we create visuals that authors can use to make posts on their social media accounts. For Open Access books (such as Monographs and Edited Books), the Books team ensures that promotional materials beyond social media visuals are created. This includes content about the book itself, such as interviews and in-depth blog posts. 

2. Breaking down knowledge hierarchies and opening up collaborative opportunities 

Another key reason for publishing your academic book as Open Access is accessibility. By prioritising accessibility, Open Access book publishing breaks down hierarchies associated with gaining knowledge. Consequently, it decentres knowledge-making and diversifies the global knowledge pool. For example, it enables scholars from lower-income countries to access other people’s research. 

Open Access book publishing helps build a network of accessibility. With the removal of paywalls, other researchers can access and engage with your work. This kind of environment helps foster academic collaboration and work opportunities. 

Such accessibility and collaboration can prove vital if you’re an early-career researcher. Open Access book publishing provides you with the platform to establish yourself within your research field. 

3. Rigorous and transparent quality control 

Some people think publishing your book as Open Access can lead to a loss in quality. However, Open Access publishers have the same quality controls as non-Open Access publishers. All editorial processes (like pre-check, peer review, and revision) to production processes (layout and editing) are considered. 

You must still be wary of what some refer to as “vanity” publishing houses. Generally, these are publishing houses that forego quality control in the hope of rapid publication turnover. It is wise to avoid these publishers. Publishing your Open Access book with disreputable publishers may negatively impact your academic reputation.  

A quick way to check a publisher’s credibility is to visit their website and read their FAQ. Reputable publishers are usually very transparent with potential authors. They will outline their method of peer review and any relevant conditions. Here at MDPI Books, we ensure that our manuscripts are meticulously reviewed by experts following strict ethical policies and standards. This is to guarantee the publication of high-quality scholarly work and uphold scholarly integrity. 

4. Authors retain copyright  

When you publish your book as Open Access, you retain the copyright to your work. This is made possible by your Open Access book being published under a Creative Commons licence. A Creative Commons license is a copyright law that gives the public a standardised way to use and reproduce your work.  

Publishers using the Open Access model often let you choose which Creative Commons licence you wish to use. What this gives you is flexibility when it comes to controlling how your research is distributed, adapted, and built upon.    

As well as being made available to anyone for free, your book can be reused and quoted so long as the original published version is cited. These conditions allow for maximum use and exposure of the work whilst ensuring that you receive proper credit as an author.  

5. Help solve real-world problems 

Finally, when we share knowledge with others, we help to work through real-world problems. Consequently, knowledge sharing contributes new perspectives and advances pre-existing knowledge. 

Publishing a book Open Access helps provide valuable information to other researchers and social institutions. Importantly, your research could be used to further develop theoretical models or influence societal decision-making in a practical way.  

For example, Open Access research is crucial for addressing problems such as climate change, where fast and smooth information exchange helps protect our planet. Our multidisciplinary Transitioning to Sustainability series is one example of such a beneficial exchange. Each volume presents approaches to, achievements of, and challenges for the respective Sustainable Development Goal outlined by the United Nations. With the series, we aim to highlight how important Open Access research is and how it can help solve real-world problems. 

The importance of Open Access book publishing

Open Access is perhaps the most important movement of our time. It underscores our need for global accessibility and cooperation when it comes to information sharing.  

You as an author can also benefit from the Open Access revolution. By publishing your book as Open Access, you give your research a global platform. Accordingly, this level of accessibility helps to break down knowledge barriers and promote equality. And you can take pride in knowing that your research will be made free to those who need it most as well as a global audience and rest easy knowing your research will be preserved online for future generations. 

Now you know why you should publish your book Open Access, you’re probably wondering how to make this a reality. Check out our guide on how to get your academic book published.  

Sam Rye
7 June 2024Posted inOpen Access Book Publishing
Post authorSam Rye